Tag Archives: Information on maple Syrup Production

Record Crop of Maple Syrup Produced in the United States and Canada

The word came back to Ohio; from producers attending the annual maple manufactures open houses that it was going to be a big year in New England for maple syrup production. Many of the big northern Vermont and New Hampshire producers were not present, they were boiling syrup. When the steam cleared and the last syrup was drawn off, Vermont produced a record 1.9 million gallons of syrup in one season. Let that sink in, it was only 10 years ago that we struggled to produce 2 million gallons in all of the United States and in 2016 the State of Vermont alone produced almost 2 million gallons beating their 2013 record crop of 1.48 million gallons. The United States produced 4.2 million gallons the amount of maple syrup recorded since the early 1900’s. The top 5 producing states included New York with 707,000 gallons, Maine 675,000 gallons, Wisconsin 235,000 gallons and New Hampshire with 169,000 gallons of pure maple syrup.

With all of that syrup produced in the United States   you can only imagine what they did north of the boarder. Yes it was big, it was really big. The Canadian crop is projected at 13.5 million gallons. This would set a new record for Canadian maple syrup produced and because most of that syrup is produced in the Province of Quebec; they set a record as well.  This is a monster crop and no one knows what affect it will have on the price of maple syrup especially the bulk price. You can rest assured that there will not be any shortage of pure maple syrup in the world for some time. What about Ohio, unfortunately we are not sharing in the record crop celebration.

Ohio Maple Producers knew it was going to be a disappointing year for maple syrup production and the USDA NASS report verified their worst fears. 2016 was a real bummer across the entire state. The total production for the state dropped from 115,000 gallons in 2015 to 70,000 gallons in 2016. The Yield per tap is general ly a good production indicator. Over the previous two seasons (2014 & 2015) the average amount of syrup produced per tap was 0.275 of a gallon of syrup produced per tap. In 2016 the production dropped to 0.189 of a gallon per tap. Normally Ohio will exceed most states in production per tap but this year’s production was on the verge of disaster.  The sugar content of the sap (often near  or below 1%) certainly did not help the overall per tap production of syrup.

Another statistic that was very puzzling was the total number of taps recorded for 2016. This year the number of taps put out in Ohio dropped from 450,000 to 370,000 taps.  In the last 10 years the number of taps in Vermont and New York almost doubled Vermont is just shy of 5 million taps and NY is right at 2.5 million. What is going on in Ohio? Why are we in a statistical state of decline? A better question would be is there really a decline? Working with extension and the Ohio maple industry for the last 18 years I have witnessed an overall expansion of the industry. It has not been unusual to see the number of operations with over 3000 taps increasing every year. I know of several that are over 10,000 taps. We will never be in the same category as New York or Vermont but our maple industry is growing.  However, when you look at the statistics we are not a growth industry we are an agricultural industry in decline.

The reality is that a large portion of the actual production of maple syrup in Ohio is not getting reported. There is an old saying that “if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well”.  I believe that Ohio maple producers are doing a good job of producing syrup but for some reason they are reluctant to let the world know how good a job they are doing.  Why is it important to report your crop?  The world rewards those that achieve excellence. In the case of maple syrup production that reward comes in the form of consumer demand for your product and increased retail sales.

Les Ober Geauga Co. OSU Extension

 

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Filed under Maple Production, Maple Syrup in Ohio, Maple Syrup Information

Handling Your Maple Syrup Crop after the Season

 

Les Ober Geauga Co. OSU Extension

Every once and awhile it is good to go back and visit and old post with a good message here is one from 2013 with a few additions.

Maple syrup is often referred to as “liquid gold”. The increased demand for maple syrup and the escalating value of this year’s crop, has added new meaning to this old adage. Once the season is over you need to use a little TLC when it comes to storing maple syrup so it will maintain its quality and value. If you have not sold all of this year’s maple syrup and have some left in the sugarhouse or in a tool shed you need to watch the inside temperatures of those buildings. With all of the recent hot weather syrup stored in outside non- insulated structures can elevate in temperatures quickly and spoilage can occur. You may have thought that you covered the entire basis by packing the syrup hot in a sealed container. Maybe not!

Let’s look at how syrup is packed and stored. Most syrup is stored in stainless steel barrels that were packed in February and March. The syrup went in to barrels hot and was sealed. A thirty gallon drum is a hard vessel to pack there is always room for air. They very seldom are packed without a small amount of air space. The drums then cool to the temperature of the time of the year. Eventually over time the syrup inside the drums takes on the same temperature as the outside temperature. Steel transfers heat and cold well.  The syrup on the inside of the barrel will remain cold for a long period of time due to its viscosity and mass. The steel in the outside drum will heat up quickly when outside ambient temperature gets above 80 and stays warm. The result is the buildup of condensation between the warm steel and the cool syrup on the inside. When this moisture gets into the air space molds can form. This is the same thing that happens to jugs when they are not heated to 185 degrees F. If the product is not above 66 brix the syrup can even ferment. The same is true for drums they should be packed hot and the seal should not be broken until you can the product. The worst culprit when it comes to spoiled syrup is a drum that was partially filled and then topped off with some hot syrup. This scenario and the spoilage that often comes with it can be avoided by repacking that drum at between 150 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. It is always best to completely fill a drum with hot syrup right off the filter press, seal it and store it.

The best solution for long term storage is to build a cool room. You notice I did said cool, not cold. A walk in cooler would be the best case scenario but most producers cannot afford such a luxury. Take a small space big enough to hold several drums of syrup. This could be a closet or small room in a building. Insulate the room and stick a window air conditioning unit through the wall. When temperature gets above 80 deg. F for any length of time, fire up the air conditioner and brings the room to just below 70 deg. F. At that temperature the syrup will stays relatively cool in the barrels. It always seems to be colder than the outside temperature. You only have to get the syrup through the hot months, once the daytime temperatures cool off you are out of the woods.  Another trick is to rotate the drum occasionally this moves the syrup around inside the drum. This should dissipate any moisture that forms on the metal wall of the drum thus reducing the chance of spoilage if the drum was packed correctly to begin with.

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Filed under Canning and storage, Maple Production Tips, Maple Syrup Quaity

When the Season Comes to an End.

Les Ober

Geauga County OSU Extension

 

The season has come to an end and now you are faced with the arduous task of cleaning up you maple operation. Where do you start and what do you use? For most of the equipment the answer is simple lots of hot water and elbow grease. A good place to start is with the tanks that hold both sap and syrup. Most are stainless steel and area easy to clean with a high pressure washer. Plastic totes and poly tanks have become popular because they are relatively inexpensive but they are harder to clean. We found that a tank washing tip that will fit on your high pressure washer is a valuable tool. This tool allows you to spray to the side and get into areas that you cannot get into with a standard spray tip. We have also found that you do not want to let plastic totes sit around because the bacteria will build quickly. Clean them immediately. Plastic totes, while affordable, will only last about two or three seasons before the plastic is so contaminated with bacterial spores that you have to discard the bottle and replace it. If you keep poly tanks cleaned down they will last for years. However, if you can afford stainless steel tanks they are the way to go.

The evaporator needs to be sugared off and flushed out as soon as possible. I often flush down the pans with clean water and then refill them with permeate from the RO and let them soak. If permeate e is not available use water. I will drain and refill the pans with clean f water and then add the proper amount of pan cleaner and follow the directions on the label. Once the pan cleaner has done the job I will drain the pans and use a high pressure washer to finish off the job. If I do this process correctly I will end up with pans that look like new. Make sure all of your float boxes are clean and the gaskets are replaced if needed. Soak your auto draw off temperature probe and your hydrometer in a 5% vinegar solution to remove all of film. The thermocouple in the auto draw off probe work best when there is no niter on the probe. Make sure your filter press is cleaned thoroughly and the parts are lubricated with a food grade lubricant. One thing I always do is remove all of the extra filters from the sugarhouse and take them into you house and put them in a place that is dry and rodent free. If you use a filter tank make sure the filters are cleaned and dried thoroughly. If moisture is present they will mold. If they do throw them out and start next year with a new one. Never ring out an Orlon filter, your will break down the fabric causing it to filter poorly.

Ro’s need to be soap washed and thoroughly rinsed immediately after the last time you use them. Make sure all of the permeate is drained out. Once you break down the RO make sure to return your membranes to the storage vessels with a cup of permeate in each one. Once you have everything clean I take the membranes back to my dealer to be sent in for cleaning and testing. There is nothing worse than starting a season with a bad membrane that is passing sugar. Make sure your high pressure pump and your feed pump are free and fully drained. . Inspect the membrane housings get them as dry as possible. Many times with the recirculating motors and pumps on the bottom of the membrane towers dampness can cause the pump shafts to seize and seals to deteriorate.The evaporator and the Ro require the use of chemicals that are incompatible. One is phosphoric acid and the other is a basic soap. Keep them separate and out of the reach of children. Be careful when you mix pan cleaner follow the directions on the label.

The most controversial area when it comes to cleaning is the tubing system. Everybody has their own way of dealing with the miles of tubing stretching through the woods. Over the years I cleaned tubing just about every way possible. We have sucked water, pumped water and air, water, air and tubing cleaner, and just plain no cleaning at all. The water and air worked well until we tried to pump up to steep a grade and had a blowout that had enough force to launch a satellite. Sucking water through the lines, left a lot of liquid in the lines that eventually turned to green snot. We have now hit on a method that seems to work. We pull taps with the vacuum on. When we pull the tap we cut off the old spout and use a line plug developed by the Stars Company from Quebec. This seals the drop line and maintains the vacuum on the system. If done properly the sap in the lateral line will not suck back into the drop line.  We also use a paint marker to mark the old tap hole. This way we will not put next seasons tap on top of an old tap. Once all of the taps are out we back flush the mainlines with clean water. Now we will close all of the main lines, then go to end of each lateral opening them up long enough to pull air through the lines and keeps vacuum on the system. It also removes 80% of the liquid out of the laterals and the mains. At this point we open the ends of the main line and let air in with the vacuum on. Once the vacuum drops to zero shut off the pump.  At some point next fall we will go through and put on new spouts and let the lines air out completely. This system seems excessive but it does work. We had a little green sap at the start of the season but nothing we could not filter out. This could have been avoided by flushing the system in the fall.  Here is a word of caution when it comes to using tubing cleaners. They have to be completely flushed from the lines at some point before the next season. Never use Isopropyl alcohol it is illegal in the United States. The Proctor Research Center has a good a fact sheet on this subject and it is worth reading. Also be aware some cleaners attract Mr. Bushy Tail and his friends, this is never a good thing for tubing operators.

Once you have your system cleaned bring in all of the releasers and clean and sanitize them thoroughly. They are made of PVC Plastic that makes a good home for bacteria. Go over the mechanism and use lubricant provided by the manufacture and lubricate all of the moving parts. The last thing is caring for all of your vacuum pumps and transfer pumps. Change the oil or drain out the water on liquid ring pumps. On the new rotary claw pumps change the oil and fog the pump with a pump oil. You need to make sure rust does not build up. Same is true for Rotary Vane pumps which are more maintenance free but putting some oil on the vanes never hurts. All gasoline motors should be drained and the gasoline replaced with Seafoam or a similar product. Never leave gas with ethanol in the tank. Drain the crank case oil and replace it with fresh motor oil and you are ready to go for next season. Make sure you transfer pumps are drained and stored in a place that does not freeze.

 

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Filed under end of the season cleanup, Maple Production Tips, Tubing & Vacuum Systems

Things You Can Do to Ensure the Quality of Your Maple Syrup

 Les Ober
Geauga County
Ohio State University Extension

This post is in response to the article on maple syrup quality written by Dr. Michael Farrell in the last edition of the Maple News. First let me say that the article was not only excellent but very timely. The article addresses an issue that all of us producing maple syrup need to look at as we start a new seasons production. What I hope to do is highlight some of the areas in the production process where quality can be compromised. These are often identified through off flavors. The University of Vermont and the Vermont Ministry of Agriculture have given us an excellent tool for identifying the sources of off flavors in maple, “The Map of Maple; Off –Flavors”. This was also published in the last edition and is also available from the IMSI publications

After producing maple syrup for over 40 years and teaching seminars on maple syrup production for close to 20 years I have made, and have seen others make, most of the common mistakes that lead to off flavors and poor quality. In this article I will go over some, but certainly not all, of the factors that lead to poor quality. Many of which can be controlled by the producers with proper best management practices. The map of Maple: Off Flavors identifies 5 primary areas where off flavors occur; Mother Nature, defoamer, processing, chemicals and others. I want to address each of these, not in order but how they would occur from the start of the season to the end.

When you start out the season you need to be aware of several problem areas that can lead to off- flavors. Most stems from equipment maintenance after the previous season  and going into the new season.  When producers and hobbyist ask how I should clean up my equipment, my response is with a lot of water and elbow grease. Anytime we use chemicals to clean equipment we run the risk of leaving behind residues that can compromise flavor. If we use chemicals on our pans to clean them at the end of the season the chemical residue needs to be thoroughly cleaned out. If we store filters make sure there is no mold on those filters when they come out of storage. If you have mold on your filters, throw them out. Never use detergents to clean filters it will alter the flavor. Finally make sure you store your chemicals in a secure place away from the process of making syrup to avoid unintended contamination of your product. Finally if you use a tubing cleaner make sure it is flushed from the system. If you suspect some cleaner may be left in the lines then let part of the first run go to the ground. Most of the above are common sense but they need to be mentioned.

Probably the biggest culprit when it comes to off-flavor is processing. This is where the majority of the mistakes are made that result in off flavors. When we grade syrup we look at 4 primary areas density, color, clarity, and flavor. Even though each is judged separately they are actually all interrelated. Density affects syrup quality in several ways; first syrup must be 66 brix to meet USDA standards and if it is below 66 brix it can ferment and cause an off flavor. Syrup above 67 brix normally does not have an off flavor but the higher density  can cause crystallization in the bottom of the container and loss of revenue to the producer. As syrup moves across the front pan the density changes rapidly and so does the color. Density changes occur with the rapid removal of water increasing the sugar concentration. Color changes occur as the sugar molecules change due to the introduction of heat. These changes happen very quickly and need to be monitored closely. Anything that interferes with flow of sap through the evaporator can cause the syrup to get darker and possibly cause an off flavor. Many feel that density is the most critical part of the process and at times reaching the proper density can be very illusive. Improper density management can lead to two off flavors that are very common in syrup; fermented and scorched. It can also lead to an unwanted change in color. The additional boiling time can also affect flavor causing an unnatural taste that is not representative of the grade you are processing.

We use three tools to measure density, the hydrometer, the thermometer and the refractometer. All sugarmakers use a hydrometer. Hydrometers should be inspected or checked for possible problems and replaced if suspect. Often the paper with the scale printed on it can slip resulting in the wrong brix reading. The hydrometer can become coated with film resulting in an inaccurate reading. A good hydrometer will give you an accurate reading only if it is used at the right temperature. Temperatures below that require consulting a chart to get the right brix reading for a specific temperature. Maple syrup boils at 7 degrees above the boiling point of water or 219 degrees. Many producers use a thermometer to determine the draw off point. The only problem is that that the 219 reading is only accurate if the barometer is at 29.9 hg barometric pressure. A thermometer needs to be recalibrated every time the barometric pressure rise or falls. This makes a thermometers reliability somewhat suspect. However, syrup temperature is vital when it comes to setting an automatic draw off. The final tool is what many consider the judge and the jury of maple syrup density, the refractometer. What many producers do not realize is that, for a refractometer to work properly, it needs to read a product that is finished and one that is stable in temperature. This was pointed out the other day, when I had a conversation with Robert Crooks of Marcland Instruments. For a refractometer to work properly it has to be able to refract light coming through the sample it can only do that accurately if the sample in the instrument is a clear finished sample. Taking a sample of cloudy unfiltered syrup can lead to an inaccurate reading. The temperature of the product also affects the light refraction. Even though the refractometer is built to automatically compensate for temperature that temperature needs to be stable. If you leave freshly drawn off syrup set in a container it will continue to evaporate water until it cools down. Think of what happens to a roast when you pull it from the oven, it continues to cook. This is why it is recommended that you cover a container with hot unfiltered syrup to stop the loss of moisture.  If you use a refractometer to set the draw off, take the syrup and run it through the filter and collect a sample allowing it to  sit for 15 minutes then take your refractometer reading. This  will give you the most accurate reading from your  refractometer.

If you use a conventional auto draw-off, be aware that it takes time to complete the draw off process. This means that syrup will be drawn off over a range of temperatures. Therefore set the draw off to actuate slightly below the desired temperature and it will finish slightly above. Using a hydrometer is the best way to set your draw off. However, make sure you are reading the hydrometer at the recommended syrup temperature. You can use a refractometer but it has to be used on a finished temperature stable product. This process may take more time than you have to make a correction on the draw-off.

As sap moves across the evaporator temperature gradient sets up. Ninety percent of the water is removed by the time the sap reaches the middle of the front pan. Syrup needs to move from the middle of the syrup pan to the outlet relatively fast. Any interruption with this process that interferes with the temperature gradient and holds the syrup on the pan longer will result in syrup that can be darker and denser than desired. One common mistake is to allow the pans to cool during the firing process. Anytime you cool off the pans the temperature of the sap drops and this causes the boiling temperature to drop resulting in the sap on one side of the gradient to mix with sap on the other gradient. You need to keep a constant heat level on the front pan at all times. This is more critical in a wood fired evaporator.

The other problem is foam control. Excessive foam in the back pan can cause problems with you float and may interfere will your ability to control the level of the sap in the evaporator. If this happens you will need to use a defoamer to control the problem. When using defoamer, the only place the defoamer should be added is at the point where sap enters the rear pan and occasionally a couple of drops if needed, at the draw-off if foam builds up as you are drawing off.  This should be done at regular intervals placing the prescribed number of drops (2 drop per foot of width) where the sap enters the evaporator. Never spray defoamer across the front pan to control foam. Using defoamer in this manner will impede the boil and break down the gradient. This can lead to the dreaded big batch.  If the front pan is foaming excessively, then the foam is not being properly controlled in the back pan, correct the problem back there. Use only small amounts of defoamer, excessive use can result in an off flavor. Organic producers must use safflower or canola oils which are very poor defoamers. Be careful, using an excessive amount of these products can result in an off flavor.

The other problem that can cause scorching in an evaporator is to allow niter to buildup. When niter buildup it will insulates the bottom of the pan from the liquid creating a potential hot spot which can result in a scorched spot on the pan. You need to keep liquid in contact with the pan at all times. Always keep your pans as niter free as possible by rotating sides or using a clean set of pans. Using a good syrup filtering system to remove niter is vital if you want to produce syrup that meets the clarity standard. You should be able to read newspaper print through a sample bottle of syrup that has been properly filtered. Cloudy syrup with a lot of niter can produce an off-flavor. Remember every time you heat your syrup to a boil more niter will precipitate out and it will need to be re-filtered. That is why you do not want to bring your syrup to a boil when canning. 185 degrees Fahrenheit is the required temperature for canning.

As maple producers we fight the growth of bacteria through our entire system. When bacteria colonies multiply within sap they convert sucrose sugar molecules to Glucose and other invert sugar molecules. This increase in invert sugar, when exposed to heat will cause a darker product. This is most prevalent at the end of the season when the bacterial content of sap is at its highest. Bacteria can affect the entire process of making syrup from the tubing system right through canning. Because sap has a sugar content it is a perfect media for bacterial growth. It goes without saying you can never be too clean when it comes to making syrup. Sap needs to be collected in clean equipment, it need to be kept cool and processed quickly. At the beginning of the season if we start with a properly sanitized system we have few problems with bacteria but as the season progresses the problems increase. Maple Producers need to know when to end the season. Producing syrup late in the season when the trees are near budding and the sap is out of condition has little value to you or the industry.  Syrup also needs to be packaged correctly to control bacterial growth in container that can lead to spoilage. That is why we always pack plastic jugs at 185 degrees. This prevents condensation which can supply an environment for bacterial growth in the container.

As you can see there are many areas within the process of making syrup the sugarmaker can have an impact on the quality of the product that is producing. The is attention to detail from equipment sanitation to efficiency of processing is what separates many producers when it comes to product quality. Making the highest quality product possible should be your goal, you reputation as a maple producer depends on it.

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Filed under Maple Education, Maple Production, Maple Production Tips, Maple Syrup Quaity, Marketing, Uncategorized

New Page on the Ohio Maple Blog

The Ohio maple Blog launches a new page, “The Backyard Mapler”. I have had several requests for information for backyard/hobby maple syrup production. Hobby maple production is a fun project for the entire family and as many hobby maple producers have found out it can lead to many sweet rewards. This page entitled the Backyard Mapler will be devoted to you the backyard maple producer. I hope it will help to unravel some of the mysteries of maple syrup production and allow you to make a better product. Hope you enjoy our journey through the process of making maple syrup.

Les Ober
Geauga County
OSU Extension

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OMPA Receives ODA Specialty Crop Block Grant


The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently approved a Specialty Crop Block Grant to the Ohio Maple Producers Association to better market Ohio maple syrup. The grant writing was spearheaded by Nate Bissell, Dan Brown and Terese Volkmann. Many hours went into this successful project which will benefit all maple syrup producers across the state.

The focus for the use of the grant funds will be, first, for Ohio maple syrup producers to sell more maple products directly to the consumer which will increases producer’s income – make more money. Secondly, it will be to educate the consumer about Ohio’s deep and rich maple history and heritage which will encourage them to purchase more maple products directly from the producers. Finally, being a part of the growing agri-tourism industry which shows people where their food comes from and encourages them to purchase directly from the grower. Agri-tourism also boosts local economies because when people travel they purchase fuel, food, lodging and shop.

This will be accomplished through the Maple Madness Driving Trail in March, creating a MAPLE OHIO MAGAZINE, which will include March maple events across Ohio and other maple related information, and improving the website to have more tour and maple information which producers and consumers will benefit from.

Because of this opportunity, all producers should be marking their calendar now to participate in the 2015 Maple Madness Trail, the biggest and best maple tour in the United States, March 14 & 15, 21 & 22. Encourage other producers in your area to join in. Each year a tremendous amount of calls come in asking where to go in the Columbus – Dayton – Cincinnati region so producers in that area are encouraged to sign up. You do not even have to be making syrup, just be willing to open your sugarhouse and welcome visitors and sell them your maple syrup. You don’t even need a sugarhouse, maybe a garage set up with products to sell and maple displays and information will do the trick.

If opening your location is not practicable but you want to sell more products, purchase an ad in the MAPLE OHIO MAGAZINE. These will be distributed across the state and be something that will be kept for future maple reference. It will get your name and contact information out there so you can sell more maple products.

Tour stop registration forms and advertising information will be sent out in September.

Thanks to the ODA Specialty Crop Block Grant, the Ohio maple industry will be showcased like never before. Every producer in Ohio stands to benefit from this extensive marketing. Be sure to be a part of this opportunity.

In other exciting Ohio maple news, March is about to be officially declared MAPLE MONTH in Ohio. First, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a House Bill stating it, and then the Ohio Senate followed and passed their Ohio Senate bill. The legislation is now awaiting Governor Kasick’s signature to make March Maple Month in Ohio. This was the project of Nate Bissell working with Ohio House Representative John Patterson, Ashtabula County.

Terese Volkmann

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2014 USDA Maple Syrup Crop Report!

Les Ober, Geauga County OSU Extension

In 2014 Ohio was ranked 6th in maple syrup production in the United States with 130,000 gallons. This is based on the official ranking released by USDA National Agricultural Statistic Services (NASS). Despite the odd ball year, maple syrup production dropped very little in the United States. In 2013 the U.S. produced 3,523,000 gallons in what was considered to be one of the best years ever. In 2014 the U.S. produced 3,167,000 gallons in what many felt was a short season. Also, most of the production came at the end of the year in late March and April.

As always Vermont remains the perennial leader with 1,480,000 gallons. In Second place was New York with 546,000 gallons and hot on NY’s heels, in third, was Maine with 545,000 Gallons. In fourth position was Wisconsin with 200,000 gallons and 5th was Pennsylvania with 145,000 gallons. Actually, 130,000 gallons is respectable in a year when it almost looked like we would not have a maple syrup season at all. The year also had an effect on Ohio’s production per tap which slipped to 0.289 in 2014 from 0.352 in 2013. This is predictable if you factor in the short amount of time that you actually had to produce syrup. Even though NASS recorded January 10th as the opening date (based on the earliest reported date in the state), many producers never tapped on until the first of March. The closing date (again the latest reported date) was an unheard off May 3rd. Most years Ohio is done no later than mid-April. This show just how odd this year was.

Crop value is another interesting area to look at. This is always reported for the previous year, in this case 2013 when Ohio produced over 150,000 gallons. This is where things get a little off track. In 2012 the average price of a gallon of syrup was $42.50 in 2013 the average price was $36.90. In fact in 2011 it was $42.10 and $42.70 in 2010. Even though we made a lot of syrup in 2013 it is hard to believe that that supply pushed the retail price down by $5.00 per gallon across the entire state. If fluid syrup dropped that much then I sincerely hope producers are making it up at the other end with value added products.  The truth is that Ohio is trending toward lower retail sales and higher bulk syrup sales. We are simply shipping are syrup off to big packers in the east and the west. They in turn are sending some of that syrup back to Ohio under an out of state label. The question is are Ohio maple syrup producers taking advantage of all of marketing opportunities that may be out there. For example Massachusetts and Connecticut produce less syrup than Ohio but they work hard to retail 50% or more of their syrup locally. New York markets over 30% of their syrup locally and is working hard to build their brand. The biggest surprise is that Vermont producers sell over 80 % of their syrup bulk. How much of that stays in Vermont is unknown.

The thing that producers need to take home form this report is that Ohio is making steady gains not only in production but in the value of the product they produce. In 2013 Ohio sold almost $6,000,000 worth of maple syrup alone that does not include value added products. Products like candy nuts and maple cotton have become very popular and make up a large percentage of a producers retail sale. Also not considered in the NASS report is the value of associated industries such as equipment t dealers and the big one tourism. Maple Syrup is truly a growth industry in the state of Ohio

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